TAICHUNG (CNA) — A large-scale anti-landing drill simulating Taiwan’s response to a Chinese invasion was staged in central Taichung City on Thursday, in a live-fire rehearsal ahead of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.
The drill featuring the nation’s armed forces using major weapon systems to respond to a simulation of a Chinese invasion by sea was staged at Jianan (甲南) Beach at the mouth of Dajia River in central Taiwan.
During the exercise, Taiwan’s military deployed U.S. F-16 fighter jets as well as Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs), Knox-class frigates and the Thunderbolt-2000 artillery multiple launch rocket systems to deter the invading force.
AH-1W Cobra, AH-64E Apache and OH-58D helicopters also took part, while M60A3 tanks, CM-34 Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicles and a number of self-propelled Howitzer artillery were deployed, according to the defense ministry.
Thursday’s exercises were staged as a rehearsal for the official drill which will take place at the same location on July 16, as part of the five-day live fire Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan’s most important annual war games.
The series of exercises involving all military branches, are held in two stages each year. The first stage comprises computerized war games, while the second is a five-day live-fire exercise held in different parts of the country.
The second stage of the 36th edition of the Han Kuang drill is scheduled to be held from July 13 to 17.
A military source told CNA that the highlight of this year’s Han Kuang exercises will be the debut of the newly-formed combined arms battalions.
Compared with a traditional battalion made up of only one arm and profession of the military, the combined arms battalion has different arms and professions at its disposal, which enables the unit to conduct its own joint military operations and thus react more quickly in modern warfare, the source said.